Governor Bob McDonnell’s recent announcement that tourism in Virginia became a $20 billion industry in 2011 is good economic news for the Commonwealth and Carroll County, local officials say. Data released by the United States Travel Association reveals that every locality in Virginia posted an increase in tourism revenue last year.
According to the USTA, tourism in Virginia generated $20.4 billion in revenue, an eight percent increase over 2010. Tourism also supported 207,000 jobs in the Commonwealth and provided $1.32 billion in state and local taxes. In terms of those numbers, tourism is the third largest industry in Virginia.
Tourism was again an important contributor to the local economy in 2011. Tourism revenue for the County of Carroll reached over $61.3 million dollars, a 6.3 percent increase over 2010. Local tourism related taxes were $1.76 million, a 1.3 percent increase over 2010. The Local Tourism industry supports 630 jobs for the citizens of Carroll.
“Tourism is an instant revenue producer for the Commonwealth and our local community and continues to grow even in a tough economic climate,” said Amanda Bourne, Tourism Relations Manager for the County of Carroll and Visitor Center Manager. “Visitor spending contributes to our local economy, providing jobs and economic growth.”
“The support that we’ve received from the Governor’s administration and the General Assembly has been essential to keeping tourism strong – especially during challenging economic times,” said Rita McClenny, interim president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. “This new economic impact data shows that the investment is paying off and that Virginia’s tourism industry is headed in the right direction.”
The Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) is the state agency responsible for marketing Virginia to visitors and promoting the Virginia is for Lovers brand. Virginia is for Lovers is the longest-running state tourism slogan in the country. Virginia is for Lovers stands for love - pure and simple, and promotes the state as the ideal destination for loved ones to completely connect on a great vacation. Virginia is for Lovers was named one of the top ten tourism marketing campaigns of all time by Forbes and was inducted into the National Advertising Walk of Fame in 2009. Virginia was recently named one of the top 10 wine travel destinations in the world for 2012 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.
For more information or to plan a Trip to Virginia please visit www.virginia.org, to plan a trip to Carroll County or request a free visitor guide visit www.visittheblueridge.com